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Citrus runners Miles Tobin (93), Logan Shaw (87) and Lecanto runner Zachary Curreri (131) work to separate themselves from a pack of runners in the early stage of the Whispering Pines Invitational on Saturday at Whispering Pines Park in Inverness. Tobin, a freshman, finished sixth overall, while Shaw came in eighth and Curreri was 19th.

INVERNESS — Under overcast skies and humid temperatures, Citrus County cross country runners kick started their 2022 prep season at the Whispering Pines Invitational at Whispering Pines Park.

Beset by rain most of the week, runners made their way through the grueling 3.1-mile course inside the interior trails at Whispering Pines Park, where the Citrus High School boys unit, seeking another trip to the state meet, finished second to Ocala Forest, which won the overall team title, 57-62, with the Hurricanes nipping at their heels.

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Whispering Pines Invitational 3

Seven Rivers' Zach Saint (155) was the Warriors top finisher Saturday at the Whispering Pines Invitational. The junior finished in 60th-place with a time of 21:36.13.

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Lecanto junior Catalina Veldwijlk, the reigning Chronicle Female Cross Country Runner of the Year, outsprints Lake Minneola's Ava Hendrix to the finish line Saturday at the Whispering Pines Invitational. Veldwijlk finished second with a time of 20:02.17 to pace the Panthers to a sixth-place finish in the nine-team field. 

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Crystal River junior Aida Canetti (219) and Citrus' Aubrey Mueller (294) pace themselves during the early portion of the Whispering Pines Invitational on Saturday at Whispering Pines Park. Canetti was the Pirates’ lone representative, finishing 47th with a time of 27:27.16. Mueller finished 63rd with a time of 31:07.59.

Prep Zone

Get updates and player profiles ahead of Friday's high school games, plus a recap Saturday with stories, photos, video Frequency: Seasonal Twice a week

Jeff Bryan is executive editor of the Citrus County Chronicle. Contact him at jeff.bryan@chronicleonline.com or 352-564-2930.

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